This happens every single rare occasion that we so triumphantly score a victory in the world of sports. The Pakistan cricket team’s comprehensive victory against India in the Champions Trophy was not any exception.
Of course, I was delighted at the performance of our underdog cricket team slaying the Indian giants as well. But a couple of days later, I wondered if I should have been. While I enjoyed this opportunity for this rare contact between India and Pakistan, perhaps I should have anticipated the mass hysteria that defines both these nations.
The Prime Minister announces PKR 10 million to each player. Of course, such brutality with the taxpayer money is not something new. Who does the Prime Minister think he is? A Mogul king?
Furthermore, Malik Riaz offered a residential plot of around 600 square yards to the centurion Fakhar Zaman in his supposedly private property project Bahria Town. Well, you don’t want to get anyone started on the monstrosity of the state-capitalist Bahria Town thing, which is a nightmare for even the staunchest anarcho-capitalist.
And well, it does not necessarily have to be the world cup or anything. A win in an event smaller than the Champions Trophy final has resulted in such behavior in the past. If they are receiving such prizes for winning the Champions Trophy, I wonder what would happen if they win the world cup again.
Alright, alright. I get it. Our victorious sportsmen are our national heroes. They should be rewarded. At least the Bahria Town corner plot sounds good especially since our “public servant” generals, politicians, judges, and bureaucrats are going to occupy them before long anyway.
However, is there any sense at all in offering such rewards to players already earning handsomely? I mean, isn’t there a better use of taxpayer money amounting to something like PKR 100-160 million. Or is there a clarification that the sum is going to be paid for from the hard earned money of the Sharif family?
In a country which has very irresponsibly vowed in its constitution to offer free education and not even remotely coming close to deliver it, this does not sound good. Especially in a country which is badly in need of a comprehensive national health insurance program. It goes to show our priorities.
At least our government needs to act a little responsibly in this regard. There is no doubt that the hardworking high risk-high reward cricket players deserve all the compensation in the world. But why burden the taxpayer further? The PCB prize money makes sense.
In other words, an Indian win in the finals would have been far more in the interest of the people of Pakistan.
For a moment in the thrill of the game, especially during the wonderful lethal spell of Mohammed Amir, I had forgotten about this brutal reaction to a Pakistan win. What exactly are we celebrating? Paying for a reward we never approved of.
Perhaps I should keep these consequences in mind when I am rooting for a team in a Pakistan game in the future.
Perhaps I would be rooting for a Pakistan loss in the next world cup final against India.